Trisha Torrey, Every Patient’s AdvocateTM has one important mission: helping patients get what they need from the healthcare system whether that comes from advice, improved communications between patients and their providers, or by matching them with an advocate who can help them.
She began her quest to help others handle the debacle that has become the American healthcare system after being diagnosed with a very rare, life-threatening cancer in 2004. She was told two labs had independently confirmed the diagnosis — and she needed chemotherapy immediately or she would die within months.
Just short of starting chemotherapy, and to the great consternation of her oncologist, she figured out on her own that she had no cancer at all. Her misdiagnosis was later confirmed by the National Institutes of Health.
The irony, of course, is that had she undergone chemotherapy, she would have been declared cured of an incurable disease. The professionals who had misdiagnosed her would have been heroes for curing her of that incurable disease. These many years later, she has never had any form of treatment.
It was a horrible, frightening, expensive experience, and Trisha decided she would do whatever she could to make sure others would never suffer the same way.
As she went back over the all hurdles and mistakes in her mind, she realized that even though it was a misread biopsy that started the problem, it was miscommunication that had allowed it to become the debacle it turned out to be. She realized that communications was an area she had skills in – and she could begin addressing those communications problems to improve the healthcare system for all involved: Communications for all parties involved in the patient’s care – patients, caregivers, advocates and providers.
That’s when she started calling herself “Every Patient’s Advocate.”
Since then, Trisha has built a substantial group of tools to help all parties involved in healthcare, always with patients as the central focus. She originally launched them under the name DiagKNOWsis – and today they all fall under the DiagKNOWsis Media umbrella.
In 2006, she began writing her newspaper column and hosting the HealthLink on Air radio program.
In 2007, Trisha became the About.com expert in patient empowerment issues, a position she enjoyed until 2014, publishing more than 2,000 articles for patients.
In 2008, she was named CNN’s Hero of Patient Empowerment.
In 2009, she launched the AdvoConnection Directory, an organization and directory to help patients find health and patient advocates.
In 2012, the membership organization which supports AdvoConnection was renamed The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates.
- They address the information needs of patients to learn how to manage the healthcare system or get help if they can’t manage it themselves. — and —
- They help professional advocates get the assistance they need to start and grow a private practice.
In 2014, Trisha began writing for Next Avenue, a PBS website focused on the 50+ crowd.
Today you’ll find Trisha expanding her reach through continued writing and speaking, plus her work with the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates . She is regularly invited to speak to groups of patients, caregivers, advocates and providers.
• For an expanded version of Trisha’s misdiagnosis story, link here.
• For a resumé and list of Every Patient’s Advocate activities, link here.
• To invite Trisha to speak to your group, link here.
• For a current calendar of activities, link here.
• To invite Trisha to consult on an important project, link here.
• Media requests – information can be found here.